LaMelo Ball (born August 22, 2001) is an American basketball player who attends Chino Hills High School in Chino Hills, California. A 6'3" sophomore point guard for his high school team, he has repeatedly drawn attention from national media. In his first season at Chino Hills, Ball won the California state championship with his brothers Lonzo and LiAngelo. He was considered one of the top freshmen in the country. Ball verbally committed to play college basketball for UCLA when he was 13 years old.
Early life Edit
Ball was born to LaVar and Tina Ball, who are both former college basketball players. LaVar, who stands 6-foot-6 (1.98 m), competed with Washington State and then Cal State Los Angeles. Tina, who stands 6-feet (1.8 m), also played with the latter school. Later on, LaVar played professional American football as a tight end for the London Monarchs of the World League of American Football after being loaned from the New York Jets.
LaMelo began playing basketball at age four with his brothers Lonzo and LiAngelo. Growing up, the trio played on teams coached by their father, including Big Ballers VXT of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), where they would continue playing into high school. During his childhood, LaMelo mainly played against opponents several years older than him. In one game, facing players of ages 16 and 17, he scored 29 points. By age 13, he stood 5-foot-7 (1.7 m).
Ball verbally committed to play college basketball for UCLA at the age of 13, before starting high school. He became the third of his brothers to do so.
High school career Edit
In June 2015, Ball joined Chino Hills High School in Chino Hills, California, where he would play basketball under head coach Steve Baik. Also on the team, nicknamed the Huskies, were brothers Lonzo and LiAngelo, as well as cousin Andre Ball. In his debut on June 16, LaMelo scored 27 points with five three-pointers as a starter against John Muir High School. On June 27, Ball recorded 20 points vs. Centennial High School. On November 30, Ball scored 20 points in a 131–42 win over San Bernardino High School.
In March 2016, Chino Hills won the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Southern Section Open Division championship vs. Sierra Canyon School, with Ball scoring 26 points and shooting 11-for-17 from the field. Later that month, the Huskies qualified for the state championship as the top ranked team in the nation. On March 27, Ball had 14 points and five assists to propel Chino Hills to the title victory over De La Salle High School. The team closed the season with a perfect 35–0 record. MaxPreps.com named Ball, along with teammate Onyeka Okongwu, Co-Freshman of the Year. Ball, who averaged 16.4 points and 3.8 assists, also made the MaxPreps Boys' Basketball Freshman All-American First Team.
For LaMelo's sophomore season, Chino Hills lost top player Lonzo Ball and coach Steve Baik. On November 30, 2016, LaMelo posted 31 points against Rancho Christian High School while LiAngelo scored 72. By December, LaMelo was averaging more than 30 points per game for the Huskies. In late December, Ball made a half-court shot only a few seconds into a game. The shot received widespread media coverage, including from ESPN, CBS Sports, and Sports Illustrated. Stephen Curry commented on the shot, saying, "That was some confidence right there. The fact that he made it, I wonder if he’s done it before and missed it. It's the highlight-driven generation, so that right there was pretty unbelievable, though. For him to call his shot like Babe Ruth and knock it down and act like nothing happened." On January 10, 2017, Ball scored a team-high 35 points, leading Chino Hills to its 52nd straight win. Ball lost his first high school game on February 5, when Oak Hill Academy ended the Huskies' 60-game winning streak. In his next game, on February 7, he scored 92 points in a 146–123 victory over Los Osos High School, while LiAngelo was sidelined with an ankle injury. LaMelo recorded 63 points in the second half alone, and he made 37 of 61 shots in the entire game. It was the second best scoring performance in California high school basketball history.Ball used the game to draw attention towards Chino Hills student Alexis Anderson, who was diagnosed with a rare heart condition.
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||Commit date|
|Chino Hills, CA||Chino Hills (CA)||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)||160 lb (73 kg)||Jul 31, 2015|
|Scout: Rivals: 247Sports: ESPN:|
|Overall recruiting rankings:|
Player profile Edit
Standing 6-foot-3 (1.91 m), Ball has been described as a relatively tall point guard with a long wingspan. Earlier in his high school career, he was primarily considered a volume shooter. Currently, however, he is known to be a proficient three-point shooter while also having the ability to make inside shots. Ball frequently attempts long three-pointers, which has drawn comparisons to Stephen Curry. He has been criticized for cherry picking, as he often waits near half court to get an open shot on his next possession instead of trying to prevent the opponent from scoring. After Ball's 92-point game, Charles Barkley said, "The kid waited at the other end of the court and just every time the other team shot the ball. They just threw to him at half-court or three-quarters of the court. I have a serious problem with that, to be honest with you."